Tuesday, 14 December 2010

A Christmas Ditty...

There's a new Silas track appearing on BFW Recordings Christmas Album 2010! The Silas track is called December On The Dunes and is unashamedly Ballardian in style, I make no apologies. Anyways, more info on the album and where to download from here: http://www.bfwrecordings.com/releases/Christmas/2010/

Thursday, 9 December 2010

I love the way the cover picture of the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas of the human body suggests patterns in the sand.

"I’ve always loved ambient music since I first discovered it (in the 1980s) through the pioneering work of Brian Eno, a musician who I greatly admire. Recently I’ve been introduced to the work of Cousin Silas, partly through my good friend Thomas Mathie (aka @headphonaught). Cousin Silas is not so well known as Brian Eno, but he produces some wonderfully evocative soundscapes. His album Adrift off the Islets of Langerhans is a great introduction to his work and can be downloaded free here! Apart from the music itself, I love the way the cover picture of the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas of the human body suggests patterns in the sand.

John Ager

You know... I learned something tonight. I honestly thought the cover of Adrift off the Islets of Langerhans was patterns in sand. Thanks for the post, John.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

I've now added Thomas Mathie (Headphonaught) as the main contributor to the Blog. He's done so much to help and assist. Actually, he more or less runs it!

Featured in :: "Tribute to Gleaners" mixcloud by Clutter

My friend Shaun from Earth Monkey Productions and Clutter has included my track :: A Cathedral Arch of trees, Lincolnshire :: in his latest mixcloud :: Tribute to Gleaners.

According to the blurb...
"A distillation of a DJ set I did in support of Gleaners - http://gleanersarchive.wordpress.com/... at Lanternhouse in Ulverston, December 2010 as part of Abandon Normal Devices Festival.

The mix also features field recordings by Clutter."
Thanks Shaun! I've embedded it below if you fancy a listen.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Featured ib :: alight here vol.0005 ...in celebration of cousin silas by headphonaught

My dear friend Thomas Mathie aka Headphonaught has dedicated one of his mixcasts to my music.

When he floated the idea passed me... I thought I'd give him some previously unreleased tracks to sweeten the mix and thank him for his fab artwork.

So on his mix... and nowhere else... you will find the following tracks:

  • Warlock Hill (original version)
  • Engines Of Solitude
  • M. R. James (The Ghost Of)
  • Sunrise Behind Strange Hills
  • Nightside
  • Cara Paints no3
Thanks Thomas

alight here #0005 - 1hr47mins - 147mb - 192kbps

a couple of reviews...

"A sonic suspense film, UK ambient music artist Cousin Silas’ twelfth album Canaveral Dreams (on the innovative and intriguing Acustronica label) is tremendously captivating and often absolutely creepy. It works best on good headphones, yet it’s equally good as a late-night passout album. The record label calls this stuff “dark Ballardian soundscapes,” a terrific way to describe these minimalist, nebulously cinematic pieces. Lynchian would be another way to characterize the way these soundscapes build and maintain suspense, vividly finding the menace in the mundane.../"
Chilling Soundscapes by Cousin Silas Evoke J.G. Ballard and David Lynch by Lucid Culture

"For me, Cousin Silas‘ brand of ambient music is like comfort food, you know, meat loaf and potatoes, macaroni and cheese, et cetera. It’s not something I want all the time, but when I need that feeling of familiarity, there’s nothing like a nice warm slice of Cousin Silas.../"
Cousin Silas – Adrift off the Islets of Langerhans by Disruptive Platypus

Thank you both for your kind comments.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

More on Complex Silence 9 :: Fresh Landscapes

Cousin Silas_ Complex Silence 9_ Fresh Landscapes 01 and memories fade

As I said in my previous post... I prefer to let others talk about my releases and thought I'd include what Thomas Mathie thought of it ...

When I was working with Cousin Silas I sent him some initial thoughts on the tracks. I think its appropriate to post them here... to give you a flavour for the album.

1) "... and memories fade" - just like drips of rain after a rainstorm... memories fade. Beautiful Eno-esque ambience at its very best. Simple but effective. This track makes me think of the morning after a horrendous sleep... a sleep punctuated by terrible nightmares. You are slowly wakened to sunlight and the realisation that it... whatever "it" is has gone.

2) "Fresh Landscapes" - the idea that we can see something new in the ordinary. Wonderfully melancholic electronica (melancholica???)... lush synth waves that remind me of the bittersweet sensation of climbing a hill or finally arriving at an anticipated space... you have the elation that comes with seeing the new space but you also have that sense of it being over and you will have to find something new to chase.

3) "golden contrails" - I love this track. The sequencer really stirs my soul. I find it so uplifting and bright. This track is full of anticipation... the yearning of nearly being there. I see an open top jeep driving in a hot, barren landscape... the people in the car share the excitement of nearly arriving at their destination... their holiday home in the middle of nowhere. The passenger looks up and sees the contrails, bathed in sun, of the plane they were on leaving the island. The anticipation builds.

4) "Pollards Moor" - subtle and melancholy synths... reflecting the barrenness of an open moor, sparsely populated with trees. The sense of freedom and openness pervades... a quietness that is only interrupted by birds. A genuine sense of wonder.

5) "Stanedge Tunnels" - a well executed sound picture. Underground exploration. The stuff I dream about doing with my camera. Finding something abandoned and full of abandoned decay. The soundscape evokes the claustrophobia of an underground space. It is sparse... almost hidden... with sudden shocks of sound. Love it.

6) "Star Nursery" - there is a real sense of hope in this tune. a wonderful freshness. it reminds me of morning and of new life. I love when the sequencer comes in then goes almost as quickly as it arrives... almost like birdsong. Beautiful. My kind of ambient.

7) "The Tarn Cairn" - is another wonderful sound picture... very desolate and windswept. A real sense of isolation. That said... I don't feel hopeless isolation. More solitude. More well deserved space.

8) "Complexities in silence" immediately grabbed me for its haunting ambience... my kind of ambient music... lovely!

9) "Northcoates Point" gives a sense of place... a sense of being somewhere... a thin place... a place of mystery.

10) "Something landed in the forest" is just pure joy... a soundtrack to a sci-fi film. Very Delia Derbyshire in places. The atmosphere created by this track is wonderful... and a fitting last track, if indeed it is the last track.
I truly hope you will gain as much as I have from this album.


To see the full set of artwork that Thomas created for the release... go here.

Complex Silence #9 :: Fresh Landscapes

“There are such artists that quietly create and share their works and perhaps never really surface in the wild wild world of netlabel artists.

And to a certain point Cousin Silas is one of the best kept secrets under the radar, born and raised in the Colne valley of West Yorkshire, UK.

He first released in 2001 commercially through fflintcentral but quickly found the world of creative commons in 2005 with 4 releases to date on Earth Monkey productions, 4 releases on Earthrid and wandering through the netlabel world on Just not Normal, Acustronica, BFW Recordings.

As we all mature, it seems to me that through time the stronghold of Cousin Silas’ work digs deeper and has grown more subtle whilst remaining quite fragile.

Today Cousin Silas presents his 14th solo album here on Treetrunk. Continuing in the fantastic series called Complex Silence, Phillip Wilkerson brings to light a marvellous group of artists that dwell on the complexities of silence. One thing you can be sure of; this nineth complexity is one to hold dear. For Cousin Silas certainly masters this beautiful tonal silence and brings a beautiful 10 track album to set your mind off, into …..”
Mark Stolk (aka mystahr)

I am proud to announce my latest release... via Treetrunk Records... curated by Philip Wilkerson as part of the fantastic Complex Silence series. The release contains some truly wonderful artwork from Thomas Mathie who I am grateful to have worked with.

As always... I'll let others talk about the release... and my thanks to Mark Stolk (aka mystahr) for his kind words above.

Download it here for free and let me know what you think.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Cousin Silas featured on "alight here"

I am very pleased to see some of my tracks have featured on a couple of Thomas Mathie's mixcasts.

alight here #0001 features a passing and Sawney Hill from Canaveral Dreams and...

alight here #0002 features the toad song from the Snow Imposed Silence.

Well worth checking out... Thomas is doing his bit to promote independent artists by compiling these mixcasts of stuffed to the gunnels with approximately 55 mins of ambient electronic and post-rock tunes from netlabels and bandcamp.

Cousin Silas on Bandcamp

I am now on Bandcamp and will look to the channel as an additional means of getting content out there. I know Thomas Mathie, who I collaborate with my artwork, is a huge fan of the site and I am glad to have a presence on there.

Basically, artists get their own sub-site with the bandcamp URL... mine is http://cousinsilas.bandcamp.com/ and I have the freedom to charge what I want for the music (I prefer free). You, the listener, have the opportunity to download whatever format you want from 320kbps to WAV with FLAC inbetween. I think it is a pretty impressive deal.

While you are on bandcamp... I would recommend you check out their ambient, drone and post-rock genres for some inspired music.

Adrift off the Islets of Langerhans :: Earthrid 012

Available on Earthrid and for the first time Bandcamp is my lucky thirteenth release entitled "Adrift off the Islets of Langerhans".

It is described in the blurb as... "an album of majestic, brooding mood music from Yorkshire’s master of ambience, Cousin Silas. The atmosphere ranges from the menacing to the pastoral, from the joyous to the serene."

This is my third release on Earthrid (I count "Abominations of Yondo") and my thanks go to them for, once again, releasing my work.

Adrift off the Islets of Langerhans is available now from Earthrid and Bandcamp.

Canaveral Dreams :: Acustronica A010

Available on the acustronica, Canaveral Dreams is my 12th release. As you will see from the blurb... "it's a mixture of light ambient, atmospheric, moody and dark Ballardian soundscapes - a veritable potpourrie of sonic textures and aural landscapes."

Artwork is by Thomas Mathie who contributed the following thoughts on his personal blog:
Here are some thoughts on the album... provided to the man himself as feedback a few months back:

001 - A Passing - Wonderfully languid... reminiscent of Eno... an excellent opener – sets the tone for the album.

002 - From A Dark Lighthouse Parts 1, 2 & 3 - Expertly crafted soundscape... gives me “mind pictures” of the sea. Haunting... in a more unfamiliar than scary kind of way.

003 - Crane At Train Station - My kind of ambience... beautifully subtle & relaxed yet well formed and melodious with a sense of brightness... a joyful moment... like seeing a massive crane in the Motherwell Train Station carpark (the track was inspired by one of my photos).

004 - The Decay Of Concrete - Another wonderful soundscape... very much reminiscent of your “Ballardian” work... but not necessarily as dark. More empty and unknown than dark. I see old disused concrete tunnels that whilst abandoned and forgotten by their makers retain a mystique to a new breed of urban explorers with cameras.

005 - Sawney Hill - There is an openness about this track that is truly delightful... coupled with a sense of the grand. As if you've reached your destination and you are taking in the panoramic view for the first time.

006 - Black Mold - Disturbing and disorientating... a sense of panic in the dark. Intimidating but not quite overwhelming.

007 - Canaveral Dreams - A sense of awe and a feeling of size & proportion... like look towards something grand, inspiring and yet intimidating. Like the feeling of walking into the cathedrals of old or seeing the scientific marvels of now... like a rocket about to launch from its dock. Maybe even seeing the Earth from space.

008 - To The Other Side - A sense of coming and going... waves of the sea on sand... that leads to an awakening... a dawning of a new day... like the dark is darkest just before the dawn and then when dawn comes all that concerned us is forgotten in the warmth of the sun.

009 - Arriving Home - The anticipation builds... is felt in the repetition of a heartbeat. Everything passes by in a blur as the focus is placed on the singular moment of arrival... even holding our breath as we near.

010 - Concrete Towers - I see the sun glinting and flaring off towers... I see my photos of the sun playing peek-a-boo... with a sense of calm and peace. A sense that the sun is there... and keeps shining. Regardless of our bleak and empty surroundings there is still light and beauty.

011 - Time Lapse Crash - Scene 7 - Very powerfully evocative soundscape... I can visualise the crash referred to in title.

012 - Whitefield Pits - The feeling of walking in a darkened cave or tunnel... the drips from the roof creating an eerie yet reassuring sound.

013 - First Night - The sense of sleeping rough or in a tent... in the middle of an unknown and threatening space. Very much a feeling of restlessness in the dark as a result of all thats going on outside... unseen yet heard... in the blackness.

014 - Through Glittering Trees - There is something wonderfully rhythmic in the melody. Simple and joyous.

015 - Out There - Something foreboding... in the dark. A wonderful end to another awesome album.

If you like ambient electronica then please check this album out. Truly fantastic.
Canaveral Dreams is available now from acustronica netlabel and my thanks goes to them for releasing an album I am very proud of.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Monday, 20 September 2010

Out Now... More details = http://earthrid.wordpress.com/releases/earthrid-012/

<a href="http://cousinsilas.bandcamp.com/album/adrift-off-the-islets-of-langerhans">Adrift off the Islets of Langerhans by Cousin Silas</a>

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Coming soon... "Canaveral Dreams"

Here's a sneak preview of the artwork for my upcoming release... Canaveral Dreams.

Photograph & design by Thomas Mathie.

More soon...